My money where my mouth is – Fri 16th Feb 07

Telepathy is bullshit. Telepathy is bullshit.

I’m not really a close-minded cynical skeptic. But I am a skeptic. Translation: I don’t believe bollocks without evidence. Unfortunately, we live in a world where most people do believe in rubbish and think you should to, and the ones who don’t are too polite/afraid/politically correct to say anything in case they offend anyone else or turn out to be wrong (although the odds are good that they never would be). This is a common problem with this world: people are afraid of being wrong, or looking silly, or standing up for what they believe in because they THINK it’s best to say nothing.

I used to believe in God. I don’t anymore. I was wrong. Simple as. I’m an atheist now. I might be wrong! I admit it! There might be a “god”. I am not afraid of admitting that, nor afraid of any consequences, because I am intellectually honest with myself, and other people. I believe what I believe because I believe the facts support it. I try never to twist facts. I try never to believe what I WANT to believe.

Most “believers” in far-fetched rubbish (I’m going to piss people off I know but a dose of reality is a good thing; see my comments above about too many “yes-men” in the world) won’t accept the fact that they might be wrong. They have a belief, and look at every possible way to PROVE it true, ignoring the contradictions. Real tests (i.e. science), look for ways to DISPROVE something. Scientists revel in smashing apart other theories; this is the beauty of science! “I can read people’s minds!” you say. Ok, well instead of looking at the ways this might be true, (and anyone who’s seen Derren Brown live or on TV cannot fail to be impressed), let’s look at ways we can disprove it! Yours truly can perform a few humble feats of illusionism or mentalism and impress the average person, and 800 years ago they would probably get me burned at the stake! Coincidences happen. Some people are good guessers. Correlations occur. All these potential hits count as pluses in the evidence column to people who want to believe. Unfortunately, they’re meaningless without taking into account the minuses.

Ok, so people might guess Zener cards of other people with a slightly higher probability that you’d expect by chance. Let’s say 30% instead of 25%. Don’t you think that IF people could REALLY read minds, the odds would be just a bit higher than that. Show me someone who can get 90% or above everytime in controlled conditions! Unfair? I don’t think so! This is TELEPATHY or PSYCHIC POWERS we’re talking about here. IF they really existed, wouldn’t you EXPECT people to score extremely highly??

So here’s me putting my money where my mouth is, because I’m not afraid to be wrong:

TELEPATHY WILL NEVER EVER EVER BE PROVEN TO EXIST, BECAUSE IT DOESN’T.

The human brain simply doesn’t work that way. Despite what New Age bullshitters want to prattle on about, neuroscientists do understand the brain pretty fucking well “Well, how we KNOW it works?!” Go read a book. Look on the internet at what scientists have to say. Do your homework. “Isn’t 90% of the brain untapped potential anyway?” No. No no no. This myth about the human brain is a hundred years old. We use ALL our brain. “Right side, left side”. Give me a break. The right-sided creative abstract genius vs the left-sided dispassionate logical reasoning dichotomy is tripe.

PSYCHICS ARE EITHER FAKES OR DELUDED. THERE ARE NO GENUINE PSYCHICS.

When was the last time a psychic won the lottery, or predicted anything important that they REALLY couldn’t have known? Why do ‘psychics’ get knocked over by buses? The fall in love, get married, die, and some of them cheat gullible people out of a lot of money. They’re just like you and me, except some of them are despicable parasites. They have no special powers, except for a knack at cold-reading and deceiving people (sometimes unconsciously). No casino in the world bars psychics…why is this??

I challenge anyone in the world to tell me what number I think of between 1 and 1000. Unfair? No! Remember what is being claimed! Can you read my mind or not? Shut up or put up. But to compromise (a lot!), I’ll make it any number between 1 and 20. Get it right three times in a row and I will believe. (Probably – because then a working scientific theory would still have to explain it, account for it, and predict success in the future).

So this is me being an arrogant bastard. Putting my money where my mouth is. I might be wrong. I welcome it. I’ll be the first one to admit when the evidence proves me wrong. Because I’m not afraid to admit it. Here are a few more claims I’ll get out the way:

THERE IS NO GOD. AT LEAST, THERE IS NO REAL GOD OF ANY HUMAN RELIGION. Might there be a superintelligent powerful extra-terrestrial being out there? I can’t answer that. And don’t let anyone else kid you either…neither can they! Anything else is just wishful-thinking; kidding your own mind in believing something you really shouldn’t; the sort of thing you did when you were a kid; the thing that people call Faith.

CHI IS A MAGICAL METAPHYSICAL CONCEPT OF ANCIENT EASTERNERS. IT HAS NO PLACE IN SERIOUS CONVERSATION, ANY MORE THAN SANTA CLAUS, TOOTH-FAIRIES, TELEPATHY, PSYCHIC POWERS, TELEKENISIS, TURNING WATER INTO WINE, DIVINATION, TRANSUBSTANTIATION, OR ANYTHING I CHOOSE TO INVENT TO TELL A BEDTIME STORY.

Wanna believe in magic? Go for it. Want me to believe chi can move objects, or that needles in the body can unblock channels of it, or that keeping your yin and yang balanced can cure illnesses?? Don’t count on it unless you can prove it. Otherwise, it’s just a pretty fairly tale.

Here are two more things I’m sure of:

IF EVERY COUNTRY SCRAPPED JUST ONE NUCLEAR SUBMARINE, WE COULD FEED AND CLOTHE ALL THE STARVING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

UNTIL PEOPLE STOP FIGHTING OVER PETTY STUPID DIFFERENCES AND LOOK BEYOND HISTORY, BELIEF, AND DIFFERENCES IN CULTURE AND SKIN, THE ABOVE WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

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